I get asked all the time “what should I do if I’m caught up in a terror attack?” There are many ways to increase your chances of survival, and one thing we can all do is incorporate appropriate kit in our everyday carry. I now have a complete set of items which will help me in a variety of ways should it “go noisy” while I’m out and about. I don’t leave home without my day sack which now contains everything I need to try to keep myself safe, within the stringent UK law.

I have drawn on my experiences as a Tier One operator in some of the world’s most dangerous places to piece together gear which will give me and those around me the best chance of survival, should the worst happen. I have also managed to remain covert about the way I do business and not scare people, which is very important. The last thing you want to do is make yourself a target by showing that you are the guy who is equipped to deal with stuff. The stuff I have chosen to carry everyday will help me against attacker(s) and also aid dealing with the aftermath of an attack. The emergency services can take quite some time to respond due to the nature of the attacks. Having an idea of what will help can save a life which otherwise would be lost.

In terms of how to repel and fight back attackers, people will tell you that prevention is better than cure. They are right, but unless you are prepared to hide for the rest of your life, it is also best to prepare yourself should things turn noisy. The first piece of kit I have hidden in the back of my day sack is a flexible ballistic plate. My day sack instantly becomes a shield against both bullets and knives. It can be used to force attackers back utilizing the straps on the day sack as handles. If I need to escape on foot in an active shooter scenario, once I have then day sack on, it becomes a one-sided bullet proof vest.

Any form of baton is strictly forbidden in the UK. Torches however — are not. The larger Maglites have always doubled as a blinding/bludgeoning tool, and in trained hands are a great piece of kit. Lots of security guards the world over have carried them for years and some still do. I also carry a smaller Surefire defender. This torch really does blind attackers and has a vicious strike at close quarters. If you are untrained there is also less chance of an attacker utilizing this against you if you lose it. They are also easier to conceal if you want, and easily access later should you feel nervous or have received information that things are going wrong.

Image courtesy of The Loadout Room

The last offensive kit I carry are gloves. I have Kevlar lined gloves capable of grabbing a knife. I could also pick up shards of glass to defend myself and grab hold of window frames in order to aid escape, once the glass has been broken. The gloves will also help protect my hands, should I have to smash windows to get away.

Everything else is tailored towards mine and other people’s survival in the aftermath of a major incident. The emphasis being on severe arterial trauma. Bleeds are common place killers in suicide bombings, active shooter and frenzied knife attacks. A person can bleed out and die in around three minutes. My first EDC choice is tourniquets. Even if you are not qualified to use one, you can hand it over to someone who is. I pack this with blast dressings and clotting agent. Again if you are not competent in its use, its a great one to pull out when first responders have exhausted their supplies. I have spoken to many emergency service personnel who have told me that in major incidents, there is a good chance they will run out of the basics, especially in the critical first minutes after an incident.

Image courtesy of SOFREP photo archive

I carry water, both for drinking and for treating burns. It is important that whenever you run out of drinking water you replenish it. I try never to go past a water supply without topping up. Just like in the jungle, you never know when you could wind up with no supply for quite sometime. If you are not disciplined, you will end up in a situation when you really need it and have none. The water I keep for treatment, I keep in a metal Sigg bottle which can take a battering. I refill every few weeks to avoid it going stale, just in case I end up proper in a tight spot and have to drink it.

I always have all the other essentials, note-book and pen, power banks for my phone, chargers and of course whatever I would normally be carrying anyway for work. Other considerations are umbrellas which double up as light shields and rolled up are great for striking and holding people out of range. Warm kit if it’s cold or could turn cold, and anything relevant to where you are.